The question of whether the Liverpool ice hockey team would find its way to the Section III Division I playoffs would not get settled until the last moments of the regular season -- and even go beyond that point.
By winning three games in a span of four nights, the Warriors earned the right to face Oswego Wednesday night at State Fair Coliseum in a one-game playoff for the right to meet West Genesee in this weekend's Division I semifinals at Shove Park.
To get this process started, the Warriors had to win at Oswego last Tuesday night -- and did so, stringing together an impressive performance to beat the Buccaneers 6-2.
From a 1-1 first-period tie, Liverpool scored twice in the second period to break into the lead and double the margin in the late stages.
Joey Wilson seized control with his skills, finishing with two goals and two assists. Josh LaRose, Ryan Duffy, Brad Capone and Jeremy Isbell each scored, too, with LaRose and Tim Ross getting two assists apiece. Dan Cibelli, Eric Filapello and Mike Conese earned assists, while Chris Sova got one Oswego goal and assisted on the other, by Andrew Lazzaro.
More was needed, though, - and the Warriors provided it Thursday night at Lysander Arena as it used a second-period blitz to bash the Bees 6-1.
Holding a 1-0 advantage, Liverpool proceeded to decide the outcome by torching B'ville's defense for five unanswered goals in that second period.
LaRose picked a good time to get a three-goal hat trick, adding an assist as Wilson (who also scored) and Conese each finished with two assists. Capone and Filapello joined Wilson in the one-goal column as Duffy and Cibelli earned single assists.
On the defensive side, Liverpool was superb all night, putting bodies in front of pucks and watching as Jacob Gyder turned away 29 of the 30 shots he faced.